There's nothing in the NCAA record books about it, but that doesn't mean what Hartford ace Sean Newcomb has done isn't impressive. Newcomb has thrown 32.2 innings to start his season and has yet to allow an earned run. He's the only pitcher in Division I that can claim that (for those who qualify -- must have 1 IP per team game). Florida Gulf Coast's Michael Murray has tossed 44.2 innings and allowed one earned run for a 0.20 ERA. But Newcomb still has that 0.00 next to his name despite being 2-1. Yep, he's allowed one unearned run and it cost the Hawks in a 1-0 loss to the Patriots on March 1.
Overall, Hartford has seen its best March in program history. The team sits at 11-8 and 2-1 in the America East Conference with a huge series coming up this weekend against Stony Brook. Newcomb will put his streak on the line Saturday against the Seawolves. Newcomb has some work to do to reach what Nick Petree did in 2012 for Missouri State when he went 70.2 innings without allowing an earned run.
Touted as a top-50 prospect in the upcoming MLB Draft, Newcomb couldn't have asked for a better start to his season after impressing the baseball world in the Cape Cod League. Not bad for a Massachusetts kid. Newcomb's numbers were good in his first two seasons, but nothing like what he's done in 2014. Entering this year, he was 7-8 with a 3.91 ERA. That's 51 earned runs in 117.1 innings. He's lowered that career ERA to 3.06.
He took some time to talk with NCAA.com before the team beat Fairfield 8-5 in a midweek clash:
Q: This year’s team is off to one of the best starts the school has seen in quite a long time. What’s been the key so far?
A: Since I’ve been here, it’s definitely been a turnaround. We only had 16 wins my first year and that was with a new coach – coach Blood – he’s done a great job reshaping the culture. It’s been a good start for us.
Q: Looking at this week’s stats report, you’re the only pitcher in the country with enough innings to not give up an earned run yet. Is that something you’ve thought about?
A: I know it’s been going on, like on Twitter everyone keeps talking to me about it. But I don’t think about it too much. I go out with the same approach as if I’ve given up a bunch more runs.
Q: Is this the best start personally that you’ve had – even going back to your days in high school and summer leagues?
A: I think statistically it has been the best start. I had a good start when I played in the [Cape Cod League] but then I got sick with mono. So I’d say that this is my best start.
Q: Speaking of the Cape Cod League, you’re a Massachusetts kid, what was it like playing in it?
A: I lived in Waltham as a kid so it was real cool when I got to play for the Gatemen. My first year there I started a little bit late getting into my throwing program and then I had mono the next summer. I still got in three starts and three good relief appearances. Overall it was a good experience.
Q: How has the experience playing in the Cape Cod League helped you?
A: It gives me some confidence knowing that I can go out there and matchup with the best players in the country and do well.
Q: You’re listed in some places as a top-50 draft prospect for the upcoming MLB Draft. How does that feel to be regarded in a group like that?
A: It’s pretty exciting. I’ve never really had this much attention before so that’s been great. It’s been different so I’ve been taking it as we go. I’m just looking to finish the season strong and then I can start thinking about the draft once the season is over.
Q: How would you describe the way you pitch to someone who has never seen you throw? What’s your out pitch?
A: My mechanics are kind of slow. I have a long motion and slow legs. My approach tends to be a lot of fastballs and changeups with a pretty good breaking ball. My out pitch changes from appearance to appearance but I’d say for the most part my curveball.
Q: You’ll be starting against Stony Brook on Saturday, what are you preparing for?
A: Nothing different from the previous games like Binghamton or any of the others. They’ve got some good prospects – good hitters – and I’ve seen them in the past. Going to go out there and attack the strike zone just like I have been.
Q: You do have a loss this season even though you have yet to give up an earned run. Was that tough to swallow?
A: Definitely. That one unearned run I gave up to George Mason cost us and it was pretty tough.